What is the population of the Australian Capital Territory?

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By Erica Silverstein

What is the Australian Capital Territory?

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is a federal territory located in southeastern Australia and is home to Australia’s capital city, Canberra. It was created in 1911 to provide an independent and neutral location for the Australian capital, which was previously located in Melbourne and Sydney. The ACT covers an area of approximately 2,358 square kilometers and is surrounded by the state of New South Wales.

Overview of the population of the ACT

As of June 2021, the estimated population of the ACT was 431,215, making it the eighth-most populous state or territory in Australia. The population of the ACT is heavily concentrated in Canberra, with over 99% of the territory’s population residing in the city. The ACT is one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, with an average annual growth rate of 1.7% over the past decade.

Historical population growth in the ACT

The population of the ACT has grown significantly over the past century. Prior to the establishment of Canberra in 1913, the region had a population of just a few hundred people. The population grew slowly until the 1950s, when the construction of Lake Burley Griffin and the expansion of the Australian public service led to a rapid increase in population. The ACT’s population continued to grow steadily throughout the 20th century, with notable spikes in growth during the 1970s and 1990s.

Current population estimates for the ACT

As of June 2021, the estimated population of the ACT is 431,215. The population is projected to continue growing, with estimates suggesting that the population could reach 578,000 by 2041. The majority of the population lives in the North Canberra and South Canberra districts, which are the most densely populated areas of the city.

Age distribution of the ACT population

The ACT has a relatively young population, with a median age of 35.7 years as of June 2021. The largest age group is those aged between 25 and 34, which make up 18.5% of the population. The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is lower in the ACT compared to the national average.

Gender breakdown of the ACT population

As of June 2021, the gender breakdown of the ACT population was approximately 50.5% female and 49.5% male. The gender ratio is relatively balanced across all age groups.

Ethnic diversity in the ACT

The ACT is a culturally diverse region, with over one-third of the population born overseas. The most common countries of birth for overseas-born residents are the United Kingdom, China, and India. The most commonly spoken languages other than English in the ACT are Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish.

Indigenous population in the ACT

As of June 2021, the indigenous population of the ACT was estimated to be 7,715, representing approximately 1.8% of the total population. The ACT has the third-highest proportion of Indigenous Australians of any state or territory in Australia.

Employment statistics in the ACT

The ACT has a highly skilled and educated workforce, with a high proportion of workers employed in professional and technical occupations. The ACT has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Australia, with an unemployment rate of 3.9% as of June 2021.

Housing and accommodation in the ACT

The ACT has a diverse range of housing options, including apartments, townhouses, and detached houses. The median house price in Canberra is higher than the national average, reflecting the high demand for housing in the city. The ACT government has implemented a range of policies aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing in the region.

Education and demographics in the ACT

The ACT has a highly-educated population, with a high proportion of residents holding tertiary qualifications. The region has a well-developed education system, with a range of public and private schools and two major universities.

Future population projections for the ACT

The population of the ACT is projected to continue growing over the coming decades, with estimates suggesting that the population could reach 578,000 by 2041. The ACT government has implemented a range of policies aimed at managing population growth and ensuring that the region remains a desirable place to live and work.

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Erica Silverstein

Erica, a seasoned travel writer with 20+ years of experience, started her career as a Let's Go guidebook editor in college. As the head of Cruise Critic's features team for a decade, she gained extensive knowledge. Her adventurous nature has taken her to Edinburgh, Australia, the Serengeti, and on luxury cruises in Europe and the Caribbean. During her journeys, she enjoys savoring local chocolates and conquering various summits.

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